The BEST

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I’ll start my post with John Maxwell’s quote, “The best you can hope to do in life is to make the most out of whatever you’ve been given.”     This is part of the law of intentionality.   It means that in order for you to make progress, you must be able to work with what you’re provided.

Over the past seven years, as I embarked on the journey on my passion for talent and leadership development, I started to blog, share my inspirational quotes through various social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. My aim was to inspire others to believe in themselves and bet on themselves to succeed.   And at the same time to stop listening to those who tell them it cannot be done.   When we don’t value ourselves, no one will.   No one will raise value unless we do it ourselves.

As I touch on the topic of chasing your dream, it is worth nothing that your dream must be realistic.   I excchanged messages with someone I respect on this topic that we cannot just tell everyone to chase your dream.  That if someone worked hard and never gave up, they would achieve their dream.   What if your dream is not realistic? What if the person doesn’t have skills and experience to ever achieve it? That would mean we are giving false hope.

Here are some of the points I want to highlight:

  1. To dream is great because it inspires you to pursue something, but make sure it is realistic. That it is attainable.
  2. Create a plan – create a plan on how you will achieve your goal. Make sure to track your progress throughout the year and continue to adjust your plan.
  3. Create a training plan – a training plan is needed to move you from point A to B. You need to gain new knowledge and skills to get to the next level.
  4. Bet on yourself – if you don’t believe in yourself, no one will.   Be confident of your talent and capabilities
  5. Seek a mentor – if you’re trying to learn something or the ropes on how things are done, seek a mentor.
  6. Seek a coach – if you’re experienced and seek to move up to the next level, seek a coach.
  7. Be positive – be realistic but be positive and focus on the lesson learned from mistakes and move forward. Avoid people who aim to bring you down.

In closing, I want to encourage everyone to aspire and dream. Bet on yourselves and keep at it.   As long as you’re making progress, you need to continue your journey.   I will urge everyone not to give up at the first sign of defeat and to keep at it until they get the job done.

Do Not Do List

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Do not doWhen I was growing up, I suffered from an inferiority complex where I always felt like I wasn’t good at anything.   This stemmed from the fact that I grew up in an environment where academic results were a key indicator of your love and appreciation.   I was told day in and day out that I was not smart and would never amount to anything, that the family convenience store would be my future because I wasn’t capable of greater accomplishment.

When people tell you something so many times, at some point it will be like a fact or reality to you, because it was repeated so much and programmed in to your sub conscious mind.   You start to behave and act the way that reinforces what was expected of you.   During that time, everything seemed normal, but the daily struggle of coping and feeling worthless continued to dominate my daily life.   I often questioned why I bothered going to school when my outcome was already confirmed. Why suffer and take those exams to then yield the same result?

Looking back, I would say that I didn’t know better.   I was not equipped to discern that I could influence the outcome. In my junior year in high school I turned things around and started believing in myself.   My teacher encouraged me and gave me the nudged to prove that I could accomplish more.   It is by no means that I figured out that I was smart, because I’m still not to this date. However I realized that I can do more than what I was programmed to believe in.

Back then, I started a proving-myself list. It is similar to a do-not-do list in that I list the names of people who doubted me and aim to prove that I can get it done. Each time I prove to someone that I got the job done I will cross out that name.   It took a while to see results, but I was patient and focused.   It is my laser-sharp focus and consistent results that helped me get to where I am in my career.

Over the last twelve months, I’ve focused on my do-not-do list. You might ask: what is a do-not-do list? A do-not-do list is a list of things that you’re currently doing or behaviors that you’re currently exhibiting that are holding you back. It is causing you to get stuck, thus failing to reach your full potential.   By raising your awareness and proactively stopping those actions and behaviors, you’ll slowly move in the right direction and achieve your dream.

So, what’s on my list?   I’m sharing a piece of myself—this is tough one.   The top two items are self-limiting belief and procrastination.   What do I mean by self-limiting belief? My lack of confidence in myself often affects my ability to try new things and pursue new opportunities.   When a new opportunity arises, I often talk myself out of trying or putting my name in. Not sure why, but since I’m aware of this behavior, I in turn challenge myself as to why. It is a difficult challenge to build up one’s confidence, but through baby steps and continuous progress it can be achieved, but it’s difficult to make the behavior go away.   The second one is procrastination.   Many times I will say to myself that I will do it tomorrow, even when I planned to do the task today. There is always tomorrow, isn’t there?   Then tomorrow comes and I get really busy; I’ll do it again tomorrow.   I’ve committed to blogging once a week. Since April, I’ve completed 22 weeks to date, an amazing accomplishment in my mind, but along the way, I almost missed making the weekly post twice.

I’ve taught the do-not-do list to many people at work. To date, many of the folks who attended my class shared with me their perspective and progress.   They said that it made them realized that they have something to work on and understand why they were stuck to begin with.   Awareness it the gift of making this list; once you’re aware of it, you can decide to work on it. I’m proud to say that many of them are doing something about it.

As you read this post, what would be on your do-not-do list? How will that list shape your future? I’d like to hear your perspective.   Writing is a labor of love, if you like my post, share it with others. If you disagree, share me your perspective.

Key to your success

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DeliveryIn my many year in the Information Technology industry, I’ve met many types of people that managed to be successful in their career.   Each of those folks has his/her own journey to their desired position.   Some were on a fast track; others have a great or strong network, while others let their work speak for itself.

In my effort to understand their source of success, I observed and watched how they conducted themselves.   How did they interact with others? And, more importantly their relationship with others.

Here are my observations:

  • They connect with their people – they try to understand what their customers want and focus on delighting their customers
  • They have laser sharp focus – they keep their eye on the prize and aim to work toward achieving the goal by leading their team or guiding and/or inspiring them to getting the job done
  • They believe in continuous improvement – learning is a big part of what they do. They seek to learn something new and improve their overall capabilities
  • They invest in others – to increase their overall capacity they develop the people around them. They spend time to enable them to grow and develop
  • Ability to communicate their vision – painting the picture is one thing, but one’s ability to state the way to achieve that goal is priceless. It is also what differentiates successful from unsuccessful people
  • Find new ways of doing things – they try their best to find new ways of doing things. This helps their team learn and stretch outside of their comfort zone
  • They believe in their people – people are still our most important asset. If you don’t care about them, you cannot increase your team’s overall capabilities.   It reminds me of the CFO and the CEO discussion. It goes like this, CFO asks his CEO, “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave the company?” CEO answers, ‘What happens if we don’t, and they stay?” To raise the level of our capabilities, we need to develop people around us.
  • Finally, pretty much everyone has the BIG “D”.   The BIG “D” is delivery. Everyone has something that they deliver to help the company financially, productivity, time to market, cost savings or developing others.   Ultimately, people assess your value by your delivery.

To conclude this post, I remember what my father used to tell me when I was young. People will only remember you for the things you do for them.   They value your delivery and will continue to work with you and come back for more because you’re reliable and always get things done.   Let me know your thoughts on my post.